From Parents to Teachers: Extended Roles during Lockdown
In March 2020, India was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which adversely affected our economy, healthcare and way of life. Severely impacted was also India’s education system. With a total lockdown in force, State Governments ordered the closure of educational institutions to contain the virus. The learning of more than 320 million Indian students came to a halt. While several private schools and universities turned to the online platform, their Government counterparts faced complete shutdown with no access to e-learning solutions.
Not to be deterred by adversities, many parents and children have utilized this time in a productive way, creating an environment of learning. By taking up the role of teachers, parents are helping their children with homework, assignments, and counseling them about the health crisis and precautionary measures. With several responsibilities at hand, they are also encouraging children to learn new things like cooking, singing, drawing, among others.
To ensure continuity, SRF Foundation has launched various initiatives such as the WhatsApp Classrooms that provide students with study material on various subjects through WhatsApp. SRF Foundation has also organized a Digital Summer Camp to help students learn in an interactive and play-way. With such initiatives, parents are also becoming aware of their children’s curriculum. This has aided them well to explore ways in which they can help their children study during this extraordinary situation. Program Officers and Vidya Volunteers of SRF Foundation are in constant contact with parents to ensure that children are doing their homework on time and parents are taking an active interest in their children’s education.
These initiatives have not only brought education closer to students but is also bringing about a positive change in the mindset of the community. Connecting with parents, encouraging them to take an interest in their child’s study, providing online sessions and resources is one step towards the larger goal of imparting quality education. While there are restrictions on movement, there are none on learning. It is upon us to decide whether we want to act upon it or let it go. In the end, we are in this together.